7 Things to Do After a Truck Accident

downtown truck accidentTruck accidents can happen in an instant. Due to the size of these vehicles, being hit by a massive commercial truck can be terrifying and can cause serious injuries.

The actions you take after a truck accident can impact your claim for compensation, so it is important to know how to protect yourself. Below are seven key steps to take after being involved in a commercial truck crash.

If you have any questions about your situation after reviewing these steps, contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation. The skilled truck accident lawyers at the Arnold Law Firm can help you.

1. Call the Police

Immediately after an accident:

  • Stop your vehicle in a safe location.
  • Turn on your hazard lights.
  • Call 911 to report the accident.
  • Notify the dispatcher of your location and answer any questions that he or she asks you.
  • Notify the dispatcher if you suspect that anyone was injured in the accident.

Once a law enforcement officer arrives on the scene, tell him or her how the accident occurred. The officer may draw up an accident report that details these statements and includes his or her own observations.

2. Seek Medical Attention

Not all injuries are immediately obvious after a car accident. Adrenaline and nervousness may mask symptoms of an injury you sustained. That is why it is important to have a health care professional check for any signs of harm, such as internal bleeding or soft-tissue injuries.

Additionally, medical reports can establish the connection between your injuries and the truck accident. Failing to seek prompt medical attention may result in the insurance company wrongfully denying your claim.

Be sure to follow all of the doctor’s orders concerning follow-up treatment and limiting activities. Otherwise, the insurance adjusters may claim that you were not as injured as you claim to be.

3. Gather Information

If you are able, gather important information at the scene of the accident. Collect information about the other party, including the following:

  • Name
  • Contact information
  • Name of the truck company
  • Any identifying information about the truck
  • License plate number
  • Insurance information
  • United States Department of Transportation (DOT) number
  • Employment information

If any witnesses observed the accident, get their names and contact information. Objective witnesses can be very helpful in an accident claim because of their neutrality.

4. Document the Accident and Damage

If possible, take detailed photographs of the accident scene. These photos should capture the people and the vehicles that were involved in the accident. Take pictures at different angles.

Some of the things to capture in your photographs include:

  • Damage to your vehicle
  • The truck
  • Skid marks
  • Posted traffic signs
  • Street names
  • Torn tire treads or other vehicle damage on the road
  • Damage on the roadway, guardrails or other property
  • Any other factors that may be important

Your pictures can help piece together how the accident occurred and the damage that resulted. These photos may serve as important evidence in your accident claim.

5. Document Your Injuries

Take pictures of your injuries right after the accident, and capture photos of the injuries as they heal. It is also a good idea to keep track of your injuries by keeping a daily pain journal. It may be difficult for a jury or insurance adjuster to realize the impact the accident had on your life by relying solely on medical records.

Your pain journal can discuss how severe the accident was, how the injuries have affected your daily life and how much pain you have experienced.

6. Obtain a Police Report

After the crash, contact the law enforcement agency that prepared the accident report and request a copy of it. The report may state that the truck driver was cited for a traffic violation; if so, this may be important evidence to use in your claim.

7. Talk to a Lawyer in Sacramento

After an accident, it is important that you have a legal advocate on your side who can protect your interests.

The insurance company for the truck driver may contact you and ask you to make a recorded statement, but do not discuss anything with them unless you have your lawyer’s approval to do so. The truck driver’s insurance company may gather information for use against you to deny your claim or to reduce it to levels that do not properly compensate you for the accident.

An experienced personal injury attorney at the Arnold Law Firm can walk you through the next steps of your claim during a free initial consultation. Contact us today to see how we can help you.

Call (916) 777-7777 today for your free consultation.